Stockdale offers special tributes to veterans, Chedwick
Recognition was plentiful at the All Oldies, Only Oldies dance at the Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department's community center and social hall.
Some 500 people helped to pay tribute to United States military veterans and legendary broadcasting and entertainment personality Porky Chedwick in a pre-dance program.
Veterans in attendance represented all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces as they stood in formation in the center of the spacious banquet hall.
They were recognized for their “commitment to duty and country and the sacrifices you made in serving with distinction and honor.”
The veterans and the audience were reminded that “our deepest gratitude must be extended to these brave men and women who served to preserve and perpetuate the freedoms we enjoy in this great nation … on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and every day.”
A moment of silence was observed for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives in service to the country. Prayers also were offered for the men and women currently serving in the military.
“It was a very moving and meaningful presentation,” said Al Marcy, assistant fire chief and entertainment chairman at SVFD, and a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War. “I'm sure I speak on behalf of all of the veterans who were there in saying that we sincerely appreciate the thoughtfulness of the occasion.”
Marcy and T.J. Wilkinson, Stockdale fire chief, presented a plaque of appreciation and achievement to Chedwick in recognition of his nearly 70 years in the broadcasting profession.
“Porky Chedwick's name is synonymous with excellence in this business,” Marcy said. “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to honor him and thank him for the many memories he has created for the thousands of fans who have enjoyed his work on the radio and the myriad dances he has presented and hosted over the years. He opened our eyes and, more important, our ears to a whole new world of music and, like his music, Porky has transcended time.”
Chedwick, who will celebrate his 96th birthday on Feb. 4, offered his thanks to the fire department and the audience. He also delighted the gathering with his familiar “Daddio of the Raddio” monologue and signed autographs, posed for pictures and chatted with well-wishers during his meet and greet session.
Disc jockey Ralph Trilli presented music from the 1950s and early 1960s for the dance.
Ron Paglia is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.